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Rock Hewn churches of Lalibela

Ethiopia Highlights

Example 6 Day Tour
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Spend 6 days exploring the most popular highlights on this 6-day Ethiopia tour. Start with time in Axum to visit St. Mary's Church and the claimed home of the Ark of the Covenant. Continue to tour the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, including the more distant Genete Mariam. Finish up the cultural tour with time in Addis Ababa to visit national museums and their open air market. Learn the country's dark history at Red Terror Martyrs Museum and see the famous hominid "Lucy" at the National Museum. See weavings and handicrafts at the Muya Abyssinia craft and experience the warm hospitality of the Ethiopian people. This introductory cultural tour of Ethiopia can easily be combined with a trek in the Simien Mountains or visits to the Bale Mountains or a tour of the tribes of Omo Valley.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Addis Ababa
Day 2 : Fly Axum | St. Mary's Church
Day 3 : Fly Lalibela | Rock-Hewn Churches
Day 4 : Genete Mariam
Day 5 : Fly Addis Ababa
Day 6 : Addis Ababa Day Tour

Highlights

  • Tour the impressive and still actively used rock-hewn churches of Lalibela
  • Visit St. Mary's Church in Axum and claimed spot of the Ark of the Covenant
  • Explore the National and Archeological museums of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa
  • Spend the day observing ancient wall paintings at Genete Mariam

Places Visited

  • Africa
  • Ethiopia
  • Addis Ababa
  • Aksum
  • Geneta Mariam Church
  • Lalibela
  • St. Mary's Church

Activities

Trip Type

  • Adventure Life Exclusive

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Rock Hewn churches of Lalibela A solo worshipper at St. George's Church Aerial view of Addis Ababa Beautiful landscape behind St. George's Church Loaded donkeys with hay Tiya stone pillars Chapel of the Tablet Rock Hewn churches of Lalibela

Day 1 Arrive Addis Ababa

Arrive to Bole airport where you are met and transferred to your hotel for the evening. Settle in and rest up after your long journey.

Day 2 Fly Axum | St. Mary's Church

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Transfer to the airport for the flight on to Axum, Ethiopia's most ancient city and once capital of the great Aksumite Empire. Take a city tour here today visiting the city's stelae park and St. Mary's Church. This sanctuary chapel is the claimed home of the original Ark of the Covenant (though it cannot be viewed by visitors) and it contains the ancient coronation yard whereby emperors were crowned. The Axum Museum, the Queen of Sheba's palace ruins, and King Kaleb's tomb are all also found here. Explore the church and more of the city this afternoon before returning to your hotel this evening.

Day 3 Fly Lalibela | Rock-Hewn Churches

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning you drive to the airport for a short flight on to Lalibela, the crown jewel of Ethiopia often referred to as 'Africa's Petra'. Here you find the most well-known and preserved churches in the country and the site for many religious ceremonies throughout the year. Visit the magnificent rock-hewn churches which were built by hand between 800 and 1200 AD and are still active worship places. 

Day 4 Genete Mariam

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today take a full-day excursion to Genete Mariam, one of the most interesting churches in the Lalibela area near the source of the Tekaze River. The large monolith was carved into a rocky hilltop and is supported by pillars. This site was first excavated during the reign of Yakuno Amlak in the early 13th century and contains some of the earliest discovered wall paintings in Ethiopia. Located about 30 km southeast of Lalibela, the trip out to the site and back takes a total of about 4 hours today.

Day 5 Fly Addis Ababa

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning transfer back to the Lalibela Airport for your flight on to Addis Ababa. Settle in to your hotel and set out with your guide to visit the Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum, designed as a testament to the victims of a recent dark period in Ethiopia's history under the Derg Regime. The museum displays a number of graphic exhibits, including skeletal remains, photos, and models of how victims were tortured and is not recommended for young children. From here, continue on to the Muya Abyssinia craft and see how the weavings and other handicrafts are used to create home furnishings, decor, and accessories.

Day 6 Addis Ababa Day Tour

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Spend today sightseeing with a guide around Addis Ababa. Start your tour with a drive up north to Mount Entoto. Next visit the Ethnographic museum which contains a large collection of Ethiopian handicrafts and historic artifacts. Visit also the National Museum of Ethiopia, which houses the famous fossil of 'Lucy'. Enjoy lunch at a nearby cafe before visiting the Trinity Cathedral this evening. This is the largest and most revered of all modern churches. Finish up your tour with a drive through the largest open-air market in all of Africa. Rest up in your hotel room one last time before your transfer back to the airport for your flight home this evening.

Consolar Hotel

Jupiter International Hotel

Tukul Village

Per person starting at
$2,586

Notes

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Rates based on group of 2 people.

Included

  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
  • 5 Nights Accommodations
    • 5 Nights Hotel
  • 6 Days Private Guide Service
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are included.
  • Photography Fees

Excluded

  • Internal Flights
    • $620 Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar, Gondar - Axum - Lalibela - Addis Ababa
    • Flight cost is subject to change
  • International Flights
  • Visa Fees

Budgeting

  • $50 Meals not Included
  • $25 Airport Departure Tax
    • International Departure tax. Most domestic taxes are included in the ticket price.
  • $50 Optional Excursions
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kassandra Miller
Kassi M

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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